Skip to main content

Silicon Capacitor Powers Phones for Weeks on Single Charge

Material scientists at Vanderbilt University have developed a supercapacitor made out of silicon. Previously thought to be kind of a crazy idea, the silicon capacitor can be built into a chip — which could give cellphones weeks of life from one charge, or solar cells that produce energy with or without the sun. Pretty sweet deal.
Published in Scientific Reports, the first-ever silicon supercap stores energy by gathering ions on the surface of the porous material. Different from batteries, which work on chemical reactions, the silicon supercaps can be charged in minutes and last way longer. Silicon had been considered unsuitable for supercaps because of the way it reacts with the electrolytes that make the energy-storing ions.

“If you ask experts about making a supercapacitor out of silicon, they will tell you it is a crazy idea,” said assistant professor Cary Pint, who headed the development team at Vanderbilt. “But we’ve found an easy way to do it.”
Pint’s team coated the silicon in carbon — well, technically a few nanometers of graphene — and it stabilized the surface of the silicon, making it perfect for storing energy.
“All the things that define us in a modern environment require electricity,” said Pint. “The more that we can integrate power storage into existing materials and devices, the more compact and efficient they will become.”
Have something to add to this story? Comment on it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LG’s first flexible OLED phone due before the year is out

LG plans to launch a flexible OLED smartphone before the end of the year, the company’s VP of mobile has confirmed, though it’s unclear to what extent the work-in-progress handset will actually flex. The OLED panel in question is the handiwork of LG Display according to VP of LG mobile Yoon Bu-hyun, the WSJ  reports, with the proposed device set to launch sometime in Q4. LG Display’s work on flexible OLEDs has been underway for some time, though the company’s efforts have perhaps been overshadowed somewhat by rival Samsung’s YOUM development. Last year, according to a Korea Times report, LG Display was preparing for

Syrian Electronic Army claims credit for CBS Twitter accounts hack

Yesterday, several of CBS ’s Twitter accounts were hacked, including its main account, and its accounts for 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, and CBS Denver. The hackers got into the account and tweeted a series of things relating to President Obama and the United States being in cahoots with Al-Qaeda . The tweets also had links that led users to malware-infested sites. While CBS was able to regain access to its accounts, it was unable to figure out who was behind the attacks, until now. The Syrian Electronic Army , the same group that hacked 3 of the BBC’s Twitter accounts, claimed

Can Technology Do a Better Job of Finding Bombs?

 With the horrifying images of the Boston Marathon bombing still much too fresh in our minds, and with citywide marathons coming up this weekend in London, Hamburg, and Salt Lake City , law enforcement officers and citizens everywhere are asking how to prevent the tragedy from being repeated. As Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs adjunct professor Abraham Wagner observed last year, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, there’s “no magic bullet o